March 28, 2019

NIAC Statement on the Devastating Floods Sweeping Iran

WASHINGTON D.C. — The National Iranian American Council wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to all those impacted by the unprecedented flooding sweeping Iran that have left at least 44 dead, injured hundreds, and impacted tens-of-thousands of Iranians across the country. We urge that the U.S. government take all necessary measures to ensure that humanitarian relief is not obstructed by sanctions, as have previous Administrations.

The devastating floods that hit Iran only days after Norooz have destroyed homes and displaced entire communities from the city of Shiraz to the Mazandaran, Golestan, and Kermanshah Provinces—the latter of which is still rebuilding after an enormous earthquake last year that claimed hundreds of lives. The risk of further fatalities and damage remains, unfortunately, as the risks of dams failing and overflow grows—further threatening those living in areas with high risk of flooding.  

The floods are only one more manifestation of the environmental crisis Iran faces today, which is derived both from years of governmental mismanagement and climate change. Importantly, the fact that many of Iran’s environment challenges are not endemic to Iranians serves as a reminder that climate change ravages nations across the globe and necessitates a united, global response.

Organizations across the United States are busy navigating the sanctions red-tape that complicates processing donations for Iranian relief efforts, but two organizations have successfully obtained the necessary OFAC waivers to do so. Donations to relief efforts can be made to Children of Persia or to Moms Against Poverty.

Our thoughts remain squarely with our Iranian friends and families who now need our support to engage in recovery efforts.

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